First Nations leader Shawn Atleo takes medical leave

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn Atleo, speaks to the media at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa Jan 10, 2013.



OTTAWA - The head of the Assembly of First Nations is taking time off on the advice of his doctor.

Shawn Atleo played a central role last week trying to heal divisions within his organization before meeting Prime Minister Stephen Harper to address a series of longstanding issues.

"There were many long conference calls, late-night meetings and frustrations in the past two weeks," Atleo wrote in a letter posted to the AFN website. "I regret to have to tell you that those long days have caught up with me. This weekend, my doctor ordered that I take some time now to rest and recover and I have agreed with my family that I do this now."

Atleo has left Regional Chief Roger Augustine in charge of the national executive and regional chiefs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Perry Bellegarde to continue treaty implementation and claims work.

It is unclear when Atleo will return to active duty.

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